Good morning, dear readers! Kaitlyn Deann here in the bold black print! I hope everyone is having as wonderful a day as I am! I’ll keep it short and sweet (or try). Today we have author Tialla Rising here with us to answer some questions. (Plus, at the end of this post is a link to a giveaway she created just for us!)
Let’s jump right in!
Thank you so much for agreeing to answer some questions and do a giveaway for us, Tialla! Before we get into the heavier questions, can you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi Kaitlyn, thank you for having me! I am a twenty-year-old author. I was homeschooled from fourth grade through graduation, and I have published two novels since I was seventeen. I love reading and writing (obviously, haha), watching movies, and editing.
I don’t know if the readers realize how much you and I have in common. I was homeschooled too, and I’ve also published two novels since I was seventeen. Let’s not forget to mention that I, too, am twenty years old–although I’ll be twenty-one in less than a week and a half (my birthday is February 1st in case anyone wants to buy me really nice gifts like a Porsche *wink, wink, nudge, nudge*)!
So, Tialla, let’s talk about what you have written. Tell us a little bit more about your books.
I have written two novels, the first (“Holding the Future Hostage”) being an action adventure with a sci-fi twist, and the second (“Where Shadows Lie”) being a Christian action adventure. Here are their titles and summaries in order of publication:
A Mystical Bottle… A Teenage Beauty… A Criminal… A Universe of Pursuit. When a teenage girl finds an enchanting perfume Vial, her world is thrown into chaos. Friends become enemies; enemies become friends. Trust is what she needs most – and what she can’t find. Through a series of deadly experiences, she discovers that this Vial plays a vital role in deciding the fate of many. Murder and betrayal surround her – hundreds try to claim her very life. A test of determination awaits…. Will she survive? Visions of the future, attacks, kidnappings, travel, explosions, and murder fill this page-turning novel with suspense and surprise.
His dark past haunts him. His new life taunts him. After twenty years in the gangs and a hefty prison sentence, an early release gives Shawn the opportunity to turn his life around. But that isn’t so easy when gangs are involved. Only a year into his fresh start, the gang catches on and makes Shawn’s life miserable. After all, once a gang member, always a gang member. His very blood belongs to them. Threats become promises. Whispers become actions. Words become bullets. He must fight – not only for his life, but to save his honor, prove his integrity, and protect the woman he loves. An ember of hope glows in the darkness, strengthening his resolve. Will her support and his determination be enough to dispel the shadows of his past? A story of discovery and faith, love and perseverance.
I have read HTFH (here’s my review on it: https://authorkaitlyndeann.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/book-review-holding-the-future-hostage-by-tialla-rising/), and I can’t wait to read WHERE SHADOWS LIE! Do you remember the first time you decided you wanted to be a writer/published author? If so, tell us about it!
I definitely do! I was watching an episode of “I Love Lucy” and in that particular episode, Lucy wrote and published a book. Though it was hilarious, it definitely made me want to publish a book of my own, haha! Not long after, I read “Eragon” by Christopher Paolini and I was super inspired by him because he was a homeschooler as well.
Very cool answer! I love that you were inspired by “I Love Lucy” and Christopher Paolini! So, I know you’re self-published (cue indie author secret handshake). Can you tell me why you chose self-publishing over traditional? What are, in your opinion, the pros and cons?
I chose self-publishing because I liked the idea of having complete control over my work and the higher royalties. It was a good place to start, though I’m definitely not against perhaps someday looking more seriously at traditional publishing. I have gone over the pros and cons of self-publishing versus traditional publishing with an author friend of mine who published traditionally, and recorded all our findings in this blog post. Feel free to peruse it for the pros and cons! 🙂
I agree with you; I like being my own boss, so to speak. How about your publishing/writing journey? How has it been since publishing your first book, HOLDING THE FUTURE HOSTAGE?
Since publishing my first book, I have published my second novel, “Where Shadows Lie” which actually came out in June of 2015. It was much easier to publish my second book because I already knew which resources I wanted to use and which routes were better after my trial and error run with HTFH, however, the writing process was incredibly more difficult. I was much harder on my editing, and ran through that book cover to cover with a red pen about nine times or so. However, all the work was worth it because I’m very happy with how it turned out. It has been very fun and satisfying to be an author, but it has also been hard and I’ve had to learn a lot about business and all that. Authors, as I’m sure you know yourself, have to have quite a tough skin when it comes to negative feedback. However, in the end, every positive review and fan letter makes it all SO worth it!
True dat, home girl! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself). It took me two years to completely “perfect” (and I use perfect in the wrong context because it’s not perfect) WORLD OF THE BEASTS.
What inspires our lovely Tia to write?
It could be anything, really. I tend to get a lot of my ideas simply from phrases, actually. Someone will say something and it’ll set my imagination to work, creating a story premise from that phrase before I know it. Certain scenes, ideas, or sentences in books inspire me as well, as do landscapes or worlds in movies. As opposed to a lot of authors I know, music doesn’t really inspire me with new story ideas. However, once I have set characters in mind, music can certainly help get me started writing for the day by putting me in a character’s mindset. 😉
I kind of feel the same way, although I’ll have to say that at least 80% of my inspiration comes from eavesdropping on strangers. Hey. Don’t judge me. It works.
What’s the most challenging part of writing?
Final revisions. Also known as editing, haha. Though I LOVE editing as a job for other writers, it is painful for myself. I think it is so difficult for me because a lot of my editing for my books involves cutting certain subplots, writing new subplots, filling plot holes, and lots and lots of cutting/pasting and typing away in an Evernote doc. It involves tons of brain-fried nights, pounding headaches, and constantly trying to look at my story from different angles to see what I have missed and how to fix it. There’s also always the major fear of: “What am I missing that will be super obvious to readers?!”
It’s almost like we are the same person, Tia. Editing other people’s work is a lot easier, and I think it’s simply because of two reasons: 1) you, the writer, isn’t emotionally attached to it and are convinced it’s your baby that you have to protect from the evil red pen; 2) other people’s work you don’t have to go back and fix the mistakes. So, I concur.
Anyway, are you working on any current novels/novellas/short stories, etc.? Can you tell us anything about it/them?
I’m not seriously working on any writing projects at the moment, actually. I would like to get back into writing again fairly soon, but I’m not sure what project I will work on. I have an idea for a children’s book, and I also have an idea for a prequel to HTFH. I’m not sure which one I will start on, but I definitely want to start up again!
What do you mean Tialla Rising isn’t working on anything?! How can this be?! Just kidding, girl! Haha, I mean, seriously, who am I to talk? I just spent the whole year of 2015 in Nursing School where I didn’t write anything. You do what you feel!
Which leads me to ask, what do you do when you aren’t writing?
Sleep, run for president, and try to patent the idea for delivery Starbucks (which would be AMAZING). Nope, just kidding. I work as a remote marketing representative for a company called VKidz, which is basically a family of homeschool-geared websites such as Time4Learning.com, SpellingCity.com, HomeschoolLiterature.com, and LetsHomeschoolHighSchool.com. Basically, I’m an online marketing telecommuter. I also try to read more when I’m not writing, because when I’m in the middle of a writing project, I often don’t give myself any time to read. Other than that, I try to spend time with my boyfriend, because he’s the best. 😉
Hey, Starbucks delivery? Sign me up! And congrats to you and Joshua! (Yes, readers, I know her boyfriend’s name! HA, HA!)
How do you overcome the dreaded writer’s block?
I know writer’s block is a huge thing for the writing community, but for me personally, I don’t believe in writer’s block. I feel like it doesn’t exist because there is always some way to start writing again. I don’t know how many times I haven’t felt like writing or didn’t know what to write next while writing my novels, but I was always able to work through it just by sitting down and forcing myself to write. Even if whatever I forced myself to write turned out horribly, eventually I’d find myself inspired again and then I could go back and edit the beginning later. There is one trick that I found often helped me get started writing, and that was to leave off in the middle of a paragraph or thought. When I would start up again, reading through the paragraph would give me the momentum I needed to jump in and start writing again. In the end, I’m a huge fan of William Faulkner’s quote on inspiration:
“I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.”
I love that quote! And yes, some writers have writer’s block more than others, and I tend to lean more towards those that don’t. Usually what I do to–what I call–refresh my brain is get up and move where I’m writing. If I was at the table, then I move to my room. Change of scenery helps me. Maybe it’ll help some others out there struggling with it!
What top five tips would you give aspiring writers?
–Don’t worry about your first draft. It will be awful; everyone’s is. The important part is that you just get it written.
–Don’t get caught up in editing while writing that first draft. Writers who edit while on their first draft will lose momentum and oftentimes have lots of troubles even finishing the draft.
–Invest in a thesaurus. They are the best, I promise.
–Backup your work. Keep a flashdrive handy and always backup your work, unless you are writing on an online source with automatic cloud backup.
–Remember, this is fun. No matter how hard the writing, editing, marketing, and reviews get, always remember why you started in the first place–because you love writing and the story has a warm place in your heart.
AMEN TO ALL OF THOSE! So, last question, Tialla… How can we keep up with you?
You can keep up with me in numerous places online:
- Snapchat: @tiallarising
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also subscribe to my newsletter here.
Everyone, go to all those awesome things and follow/like/subscribe to Tialla! Trust me, you won’t regret it! She’s amazing! Thank you, Tialla, for agreeing to be here with me today.
Thanks so much for having me, Kaitlyn! It was lots of fun! 🙂
Seriously, guys. Go buy her books and go subscribe to her stuff! And enter the GIVEAWAY below! 😉 Who’ll be the lucky winner? Hmm…
Have a good one,